The LOTR Movie Site
June 24, 2000

Interesting Info
John K.

Many people think Tom Bombadil is a very out of place character in the Lord of the Rings. In an excellent biography by Daniel Grotta, "The biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, Architect of Middle Earth." Michael Tolkien makes known the true origins of Ents, Bombadil and shoeless Hobbits:

"From my father I inherited an almost obsessive love of trees: as a small boy I witnessed mass tree-felling for the convenience of the internal combustion engine. I regarded this as the wanton murder of living beings for very shoddy ends. My father listened seriously to my angry comments and when I asked him to make up a tale in which the trees took a terrible revenge on the machine-lovers, he said, ' I will write you one.' " Another family contribution to the story was the character of Tom Bombadil, who was originally a jointed wooden doll that belonged to Priscilla (Tolkien's daughter). She demanded that Tom be written in somewhere, and he was. That hobbits have hairy feet and wear no shoes can be traced to Tolkien's American friend at Exeter College, Allen Barnett. Barnett was from Kentucky, and Tolkien loved to hear his stories about country boys and their down home names, contempt for shoes, and insatiable urge to steal tobacco out of curing casks."